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Guerilla Gardener Plants Joy in Potholes


Guerilla Gardener Plants Joy in Potholes
They're the bane of cyclists and motorists alike, but one urban gardener has grown a fondness for potholes after deciding to spruce up cities around Europe by filling them up with miniature flower arrangements.  Australian Steve Wheen, 34, who lives in London, has been using flowers and small-scale objects to transform urban potholes for the last three years. The self-styled 'guerrilla gardener' has created mini gardens all around his home city but has now decided to bring joy to commuters across Europe with his unusual pothole creations. Guerrilla gardening is an increasingly popular trend for planting in public spaces without permission from the authorities and some of Steve's creations even come complete with tiny furniture and even working electric lights.   He latest project took him to Milan where he installed Italian themed mini-gardens in potholes around the city.   He said: 'My project is all about turning the crappy into the happy. Mostly I garden in East London as there is a proliferation of potholes and I'm spoilt for choice.'   Steve's work in Italy coincided with Milan Design Week and his projects, which are usually between 20 and 30 centimetres wide, were well received.    He continued: 'It's funny how my little gardens can make such a big impact. At times I had crowds of up to 50 people watching me garden, they seemed enchanted.   'My favourite part of the process is sitting back and watching people's reactions.'   His work in Milan included a musical garden to celebrate Italian composers and musicians and a 'minibition garden' inspired by Italian artists.    He also created fashion-themed handbag and shoe gardens in homage to the cities' well known designers as well as a 'light bulb garden'.    'The light bulb garden celebrates the inception of great ideas - that moment when the idea strikes,' Steve said.    Steve doesn't ask permission to plant in potholes with each mini-garden taking him around 20 minutes to create. When finished, he often leaves them in place.   He said: 'I was stopped recently in London by a policeman but he just wanted to know what I was doing. When I explained, he asked me to carry on because he loved it.   'I was a little more worried about Milan as I wasn't sure about how the police might take it, but I didn't have any issues in the end.'   Steve's next project will be an unexpected attraction for tourists visiting the UK for the Olympic games  with a series of mini gardens inspired by London 2012.    'My Olympic themed gardens will each celebrate a different sport. I'll be creating a mini running track, a long jump, a high jump and more. I'll try and make them around London landmarks.   'A little effort can go a long way - I'm really creating little moments of happiness.'   His previous creations include a mini-London Eye, which he planted outside the Ministry of Defence building in the heart of Government in central London, a tennis court and a living room. 


Author: SUZANNAH HILLS # PeseVyva07
Home2012-08-09
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